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THE FAMILIES of two missing men will today know if remains found in the Dublin Mountains belong to their son -- after handing over dental records.

The paperwork has been supplied by the parents of missing men Paul Byrne (21) and Ken Fetherston (26), two Tallaght men reported missing over the past seven months.

The families of both men believe that their sons have been murdered.

The dental records will today be matched with teeth in the skull removed from the crime scene at Military Road in the Dublin Mountains. Both families have been told that the body could be identified as early as this afternoon.

Gardai who have established that the remains found by two walkers at 2.15pm on Sunday are that of a man, and are focusing their attention on Fetherston and Byrne as possible murder victims.

They had also notified the parents of missing Rathfarnham schoolboy Philip Cairns of the find, but the remains are less than a year old, ruling out a connection with the youth, who disappeared 23 years ago.

After an agonising day of waiting on the side of the freezing mountain, Ken and Paul's families are each clinging to the hope and fear that the bones are those of their sons.

And the Herald can today reveal that the family of Paul Byrne had last summer searched the area in which the remains were found, but did not discover anything.

The location is known locally as 'Viewing Point', on the R115 in the Dublin Mountains.

"We searched everywhere, all over the mountains, and we searched in there where the gardai are, but didn't find anything," Paul's mother Ashley said.

Paul, a father of one, was last seen alive outside his home at Kilmartin Green in Tallaght on July 15.